Team

Agnes Abenojar (she/her),
Senior Accountant

Agnes Abenojar (she/her),
Senior Accountant

Across a variety of fields, Agnes has always put exactitude at the top of the list in her accounting duties. The numbers must match, and she is unafraid to spend tireless hours poring through the details to decipher numerical puzzles. Agnes has worked in fields as varied as youth development, housing, real estate, and for the firm that manages Oracle Arena. Agnes enjoys good food, relaxing music, and spending time with her teenage daughter. Agnes is constantly seen with a smile on her face – a sign of another accounting mystery solved, perhaps?

Elizabeth Ayala (she/her),
Program Manager, WPI-Local

Elizabeth Ayala (she/her),
Program Manager, WPI-Local

Elizabeth Ayala is a passionate community advocate and nonprofit professional dedicated to developing authentic and powerful grassroots leaders. As Program Manager for the Women’s Policy Institute (WPI), she focuses on the WPI-Local fellowship program. Elizabeth worked as a professional community organizer for the faith-based grassroots network PICO National Network with its affiliate, Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) in Riverside, California. During her time at ICUC, she helped change DUI checkpoint policies at the city level, mitigating the negative economic impact on Latino immigrant neighborhoods and she helped over 500 families modify their mortgages in a series of nonprofit multi-agency workshops during the worst part of the recession. She and other grassroots leaders were part of the successful lobby efforts to pass multiple laws that improved the lives of low-income families, including AB 1389, which saved Riverside residents hundreds of thousands of dollars by avoiding costly towing and impounds of family vehicles. After PICO National, Elizabeth was a coordinator for an innovative bilingual English/Spanish civic engagement project for El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center, a multicultural health promotion and education agency in San Bernardino, California. Elizabeth was a founding board member and eventually served as chair of the Riverside Food Cooperative, a non-profit business that aims to open a consumer-owned grocery store that supports local agriculture and spurs economic growth in Riverside. She has been an adult mentor for the Child Leader Project (CLP) since 2012 and is currently its “Presidenta.” As Presidenta, she leads CLP efforts to provide safe spaces for youth to grow and learn about social justice issues and sponsors the multicultural Arlanza Community Garden. She is a community organizer for Time For Change Foundation, which works with homeless women and children. Elizabeth holds a BA with honors in international relations from Stanford University. At Stanford she conducted international field research in El Salvador and wrote her thesis on the impact of migrant monetary remittances on Salvadoran household economic decisions. She received the Center for Teaching & Learning’s Best Thesis Presentation award. Elizabeth was born in Corona, California and was raised by hardworking immigrant parents from Mexico and El Salvador. Elizabeth lives in the city of Riverside where she enjoys singing and telling stories for fundraisers across the Inland Empire region of Southern California.

Libby Benedict (she/her),
Outreach Specialist, justCARE Campaign

Libby Benedict (she/her),
Outreach Specialist, justCARE Campaign

Libby is thrilled to join the justCARE Campaign, and in her capacity as Outreach Specialist will galvanize the academic, medical, and non-profit communities in support of increasing access to abortion on college campuses. She is a native Californian (with 2 fifth-gen grandchildren), with expertise in community organizing, capacity building, and program design and management. Before joining the Women’s Foundation, she spent nearly 12 years with Physicians for Reproductive Health, directing their Leadership Training Academy, a national program that prepares physicians to become self-directed leaders in reproductive health advocacy. During her tenure, the Academy increased in scope from the original class of 20 fellows to the current 326 alumni (with 32 new fellows) working in 9 medical specialties representing 43 states and DC. As a member of the successful Campaign for Teen Safety to defeat Prop 4 – the 2008 Parental Notification Initiative – Libby conducted advocacy skills and education trainings for the statewide medical community, reaching nearly 1,000 physicians, residents, and medical students. In collaboration with the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Libby designed and facilitated the first in a series of Continuing Medical Education programs aimed at increasing the number of providers trained in early abortion methods and long-acting reversible contraception. Libby has a BA in Sociology/minor in Criminology from UCLA, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Golden Gate University. She is a graduate of the Women’s Policy Institute, Class of 2008, and currently serves as the Advisory Board Chair for TEACH (Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare), and as a Planning Director for the California Alliance for Abortion Care (CAAC). On the weekends, Libby likes to host Sunday Night Family Dinners for her daughters and their families, and argue about politics and the human condition with her husband (of 40 years this December), Mike.

Clanci Cochran (she/her),
Executive Administrator

Clanci Cochran (she/her),
Executive Administrator

Clanci joined the Foundation in 2019 and is responsible for overall administration and operations for the Foundation including executive support for the CEO and the Board of Directors. Before joining the Foundation, Clanci worked at Reading Partners, first as a Senior Admissions Manager and then as Human Resources and Talent Manager. Prior to that she held several positions at City Year Sacramento as a Development Operations Manager and as a Recruitment Coordinator and at City Year Seattle as an Operations Manager and Interim Recruitment Director. Clanci holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Spelman College and is currently enrolled in a Masters in Divinity and Community Leadership Program at American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley.

Mazuri Colley (she/her),
Development Database Associate

Mazuri Colley (she/her),
Development Database Associate

As the Development & Database Associate on the Development Team, Mazuri works closely with colleagues in Program, Communications and Finance, and across communities of Foundation donors, board members, grant partners, WPI fellows and alums and on event campaigns.

Before joining the Women’s Foundation of California, she was a Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge (our database) trainer and instructor helping organizations and development departments all across the sector (and across the country!) manage strong, effective database systems and build and maintain strong relationships with donors and supporters. She’s led hundreds of webinars and in-person workshops and her students and colleagues have raved about her brilliant teaching, her warmth and her humor.

Previous to her work as a trainer, Mazuri was a Development Coordinator and Marketing/Communications Associate for LifeLong Medical Care here in the East Bay. Before that, she held roles at the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, the City of Sacramento, the Sacramento Job Corps, the University of California, Davis, and served two terms of service as an AmeriCorps.

 

Kamika Dunlap (she/her),
Chief Strategist, Communications

Kamika Dunlap (she/her),
Chief Strategist, Communications

Kamika is a San Francisco native and brings 20 years of experience in journalism, strategic communications, and government and community relations. As Chief Strategist of Communications, Kamika is responsible for increasing the Foundation’s visibility and recognition as a philanthropic leader and partner in advancing gender, racial and economic justice. Most recently, she served as the Chief of Staff to Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and led multiple policy initiatives and communications strategies to address systematic forms of injustices related to housing, the environment, healthcare and civic-engagement. Prior to joining Supervisor Miley’s team, Kamika held several leadership positions including as Communications Director for Oakland Mayoral Candidate Rebecca Kaplan, as a Staff Writer for the Oakland Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News and Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Rob Bonta. Kamika received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University and a Masters of Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism. Her community involvement includes serving as Vice President and Membership Co-Chair for East Bay Stonewall and as a member of Black Women Organized for Political Power.

Sonja Goetsch-Avila (she/her),
Campus Coordinator

Sonja Goetsch-Avila (she/her),
Campus Coordinator

Sonja Goetsch-Avila brings critical lenses from her experience in direct service, clinical work and student engagement to the Bay Area Campus Coordinator role for the justCARE campaign. Most recently, Sonja worked for the Women’s Community Clinic/Lyon-Martin Health Services in San Francisco as a Client Care Coordinator — ensuring access to specialty care for low-income, uninsured and underinsured clients. In 2016, she graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with majors in Community Studies and Feminist Studies. While working on her B.A, she spent two quarters completing a full-time field study as a Healthline Intern at ACCESS Women’s Health Justice in Oakland, and continues to provide practical support volunteer services to callers. Born and raised in rural Northern California, Sonja found her voice as a high school student through a peer education theatre troupe with the local Planned Parenthood. At a young age she chose to dedicate her career to Reproductive Justice work, and is thrilled to combine her passion for student activism and experience navigating abortion care as a Campus Coordinator. Sonja has also worked with youth and adults in the outdoors as a Trip Leader for various wilderness programs, and feels most at peace in nature. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, cooking huge breakfasts and snuggling with her roommate’s dog.

Stephanie Volkoff Green (she/her),
Chief Strategist, Partnerships

Stephanie Volkoff Green (she/her),
Chief Strategist, Partnerships

As Chief Strategist of Partnerships, Stephanie leads the Foundation’s efforts to engage communities of support to advance gender justice. She oversees the Philanthropy and Public Policy Institute and the California Gender Justice Funders Collaborative. Throughout her career Stephanie has focused on inspiring communities of support for mission-led organizations. Before joining the Women’s Foundation of California, Stephanie was the Development Manager for Advancement and Planned Giving with Mother Jones where she more than tripled the size of their midlevel giving program, rebranded and relaunched the Legacy Society and spearheaded an interdepartmental effort to more effectively engage the community of donors and subscribers. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, Stephanie was the Canvass Director for Grassroots Campaigns and lead MoveOn’s final get out the vote work in Albuquerque, NM. Stephanie holds a Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas where she was the teaching assistant for former Governor Ann Richards. She received her undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s College of California where she helped to establish the Women’s Resource and Research Center.

Surina Khan (she/her),
Chief Executive Officer

Surina Khan (she/her),
Chief Executive Officer

Surina is a proud Californian by way of Connecticut and Pakistan. A first generation immigrant, Surina came to the US with her parents and five older siblings in 1973, and has been dedicated to gender, racial, and economic justice issues ever since. As CEO, Surina oversees the Foundation’s strategic direction which is focused on building community-based power through investing in effective community-based organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. Surina first became involved with WFC as a volunteer in 2004 serving on a grants review committee. She joined the staff in 2005 as a Senior Program Officer and was promoted to Director of Programs and then Vice President of Programs. In 2011 Surina was recruited by the Ford Foundation to design and launch Ford’s LGBT Rights Initiative and went on to become a Director in the Democracy Rights and Justice Program where she shaped more than $30 million in annual grantmaking around the world to expand rights for women, LGBT people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and in the areas of strengthening democratic participation and governance. She returned to WFC as CEO in 2014 and is dedicated to engaging more people to support those who are most impacted by the problems in their community to develop solutions to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. Earlier in her career Surina served as Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (now OutRight Action International) where she worked to advance the human rights of LGBTQI people and people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Prior to that she was a research analyst for Political Research Associates, conducting groundbreaking research on the Right’s attacks on women and LGBT people. Surina serves on several Boards and is currently co-chair of the Board of Directors of Funders for Reproductive Equity. She is also a member of the Board of Voices for Progress, Alliance for Justice, and La Cocina and a member of the Advisory Board of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a founding Advisor for the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, and a member of the Public Policy Committee for Southern California Grantmakers and Northern California Grantmakers. She previously served on the Boards of numerous organizations including Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, Outright Action International, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Surina is a widely recognized expert on gender, racial, and economic justice and a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy. In 2015, Surina was recognized with a Leaders in Action Award from Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and in 2017 the South Asian Network recognized Surina with a Community Solidarity Award. Her writing and research have been published widely in print and online publications including the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Philanthropy News Digest.

Dey Nava (she/her),
Campaign Manager

Dey Nava (she/her),
Campaign Manager

Dey Nava most recently served as the Public Affairs Officer for Planned Parenthood Northern California. In 2015, she graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Anthropology, and went on to complete a fellowship with Oakland-based TOLA (The Organizing & Leadership Academy). During her time at Planned Parenthood, she empowered the next generation of young leaders at the first-ever Youth Power Summit and trained hundreds of supporters to lobby their legislators during an annual lobby day. She also helped advance reproductive healthcare legislation such as SB 999, which guarantees 12 months of birth control under all insurance plans. Dey is passionate about advancing healthcare access for all, and ensuring that the social and economic environments within communities support opportunities for a long and healthy life. In her spare time, she enjoys watching films, exploring new restaurants and traveling.

Marj Plumb (they/them),
Chief Strategist, Policy Advocacy and Training

Marj Plumb (they/them),
Chief Strategist, Policy Advocacy and Training

Marj Plumb serves as Chief Strategist, Policy Advocacy and Training. Marj co-created our Women’s Policy Institute and has served as the lead trainer since the program’s establishment in 2003. As principal of Plumbline Coaching and Consulting, Inc., Marj has been a non-profit consultant, coach, and trainer for the past 15 years specializing in community-based participatory research and evaluation, public policy, strategic planning and organizational and leadership development. Prior to starting her consulting practice Marj served for over 25 years in senior management positions with a variety of non-profit organizations working on health, mental health and substance abuse, economic development, environmental justice, LGBT rights, violence prevention, and social justice/civil rights. In addition to WPI, Marj created Reach the Decision Makers, a policy training program of the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment. Marj provides training in community-based participatory research and evaluation through the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) and the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS). She also works as a large-group, multi-stakeholder facilitator and strategic planner for CBCRP’s Special Research Initiatives, planning $20 million in innovative research on the environmental causes of breast cancer and the causes of breast cancer disparities. Marj also provides management support to two small non-profit organizations, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Woman Vision, an LGBT social justice documentary film agency. Marj has a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management (MNA) from the University of San Francisco and a doctorate in public health (DrPH) from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her coaching training from the Coaches Training Institute and the Co-Active Leadership Program and advanced coaching training on relationships and organizational systems from The Center for Right Relationship. She has been awarded the Professional Coach Certificate (PCC) from the International Coach Federation. Marj is a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Step I and Step II) and through California State University/East Bay received her certification in Online Teaching and Learning (OTL).

Christine Reyes (she/her),
Chief Financial Officer

Christine Reyes (she/her),
Chief Financial Officer

Christine is a finance and operations professional with experience leading national and international organizations. Her approach to the work is to collaboratively design and implement elegant systems and processes that provide reliable and timely information for decision making that drives transformation and innovation. Christine has served in various team leadership roles, most recently as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Coral Reef Alliance where she was responsible for setting strategy and leading financial, human resources, information technology and operational functions for a $4 million organization with 20 staff located across the world. Christine has also held leadership positions in Finance at the Fund for Nonviolence, the Firelight Foundation, and Ecological Concerns, Inc. Christine received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she also completed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Program. Christine is a CPA and a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and is an active member of CompassPoint’s Finance Professionals Network. She participates in the Ecology of Leadership Program and serves as Treasurer of New Music Works and Roatan Marine Park International. Christine is passionate about gender, racial, and social justice and in particular is motivated to use her skills and talents for the advancement of women and girls of color and LGBTQ communities. She is an avid biker, hiker, nature lover, a student of the dharma, and revels in music, dancing, reading, art, poetry and travel.

Elena Richardson,
Manager, Institutional Partnerships (she/her)

Elena Richardson,
Manager, Institutional Partnerships (she/her)

With a background in public policy, fundraising and philanthropy, Elena is thrilled to serve as the Women’s Foundation of California as Foundations & Corporate Giving Manager. Most recently, Elena served as Associate Director for an activist-led social change foundation in Southern California with the motto “Change, Not Charity.” In addition to progressive philanthropy, Elena has consulted for gender equity organizations on development and strategic planning needs, including the Women’s Commission and Girl’s Inc. Prior to philanthropy, Elena worked in electoral politics for progressive candidates on California’s Central Coast. Currently, she serves as a Board Member for the Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund. Elena earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Arabic language at UC Santa Barbara and her Master of Public Health at Boston University. As the daughter of Muslim-Pakistani immigrants, and having grown up between Karachi, Pakistan and Bakersfield, California, Elena values work that expands opportunity and builds healthy and inclusive communities.

Jessy Rosales (she/her),
Campus Coordinator

Jessy Rosales (she/her),
Campus Coordinator

Jessy Rosales is a twenty-two-year-old graduate of UC Riverside and a reproductive justice advocate. She has represented numerous advocacy organizations across the United States including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice, the 1 in 3 Campaign. She is currently a part of the newest 2018-2019 cohort of YouthTestify a group of young adults who have had abortions who tell their story publicly. Jessy has shared her story to many media outlets and her story has been featured on TeenVogue, Huffington Post, and La Opinion. Aside from media, Jessy strongly believes in the work of government and policy reform and has used her story to lobby for legislation, most recently she assisted in pushing what was formerly known as SB320. Jessy candidly shares the story of her own abortion to bring greater awareness to women’s health issues, eliminate the stigma around abortion, and proudly represent the Latinx community. She is 2019’s Audre Lorde award recepient given from the San Diego Coalition for Reproductive Justice.

Rhiannon Rossi (she/her),
Program Officer

Rhiannon Rossi (she/her),
Program Officer

As Program Officer, Rhiannon Rossi is responsible for implementing and strengthening the Foundation’s grantmaking and partnerships between WFC’s donor advised funds and the Foundation. She brings a wealth of experience in gender justice philanthropy. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rhiannon served as the Philanthropic Education Officer at Chicago Foundation for Women where she oversaw the Foundation’s leadership and philanthropic development programming. While at Chicago Foundation for Women, Rhiannon managed the establishment of the Foundation’s first giving circle, which exceeded membership and grantmaking goals in its first year. She also created and enhanced programs to build community among the various organizational stakeholders. Before Chicago Foundation for Women, Rhiannon gained experience working with a number of diverse nonprofit organizations as a development professional. Rhiannon received her BA from Indiana University-Bloomington. During her time there she began to cultivate her excitement for philanthropy. Rhiannon is passionate about women’s issues and volunteers as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and is a member of Spark San Francisco.

Liza Siegler, Director of Individual Giving
Liza Siegler (she/her),
Director, Individual Partnerships

Liza Siegler (she/her),
Director, Individual Partnerships

Liza brings unique experiences in the philanthropic sector to her work building strong partnerships for gender justice as Director of Individual Partnerships. For five years as Director of Partnerships and Engagement at the Edible Schoolyard Project, she developed sustaining relationships with individual and institutional partners funding a vision for social change through the food system, championed by the organization’s founder, Alice Waters. For ten years prior at Tides Foundation, she worked with a wide range of partners to leverage philanthropic dollars and social capital toward gender, racial, environmental and economic justice. While there, she ran Threshold Foundation, whose core social justice mission is a peer learning and support program rooted in the recognition that those who benefit most from unjust social systems must understand their privilege in order to responsibly leverage their power to effect systemic change. Upon joining the board of Third Wave Foundation (now Third Wave Fund) as a newbie in the philanthropic sector and as a new mom, she discovered a passion for cross-class, multi-racial, intergenerational organizing and fundraising for gender justice. Liza grew up in New York City, where irreverent parents and thirteen years of all-girls schooling formed her feminist worldview. Her BA from the University of Chicago focused on gender and relational autobiography. She now lives in San Francisco with her husband, son and daughter.

Kavleen Singh (she/her),
Campus Coordinator

Kavleen Singh (she/her),
Campus Coordinator

Kavleen’s experience with nonprofits, grassroots campaigns and student advocacy work makes her a great fit for the Sacramento Campus Coordinator role for the justCARE campaign. After Kavleen graduated from UC Berkeley with a political science degree, she joined the public affairs sphere where she worked on an influential public awareness and education campaign that focuses on the challenges affecting older adults in California. While attending Berkeley, Kavleen worked on mental health and reproductive justice issues in the ASUC. She also advocated for equitable food access and sociocultural awareness at the Berkeley Student Food Collective. Kavleen was born and raised in the Sacramento area and loves digital art, comic books, movies with weirdly specific plots and Halloween.

Carly Vendeiro (she/her),
Campaign Assistant

Carly Vendeiro (she/her),
Campaign Assistant

Carly joined the Foundation in August 2017 and provides administrative support for the Women’s Policy Institute. Her passion for racial, gender, and economic justice has been a driving force for her since a young age. Carly graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2017 with majors in Sociology and Social Welfare and a minor in Portuguese Language and Literature. In her early undergraduate career she served as president of the campus’ largest LGBTQ organization and quickly found fulfillment in community engagement and social justice on a professional level. She then facilitated two semesters of Female Sexuality at UC Berkeley (FemSex), a student-led course surrounding sexuality and social justice. Additionally, she spent three years as a researcher at The Goodly Institute, a team housed in the Berkeley Institute for Data Science which studies interactions between police and protesters during the Occupy Movement. In 2015, Carly lived for six months in Lisbon, Portugal, where she began her independent honors thesis project which explored sexual minorities in the country’s post-dictatorship context. In her spare time, Carly enjoys staying active with her friends, and spends most evenings on skates playing for the local roller derby league.

Ari (she/they),
Program Assistant

Ari (she/they),
Program Assistant

ari is excited to join the Women’s Foundation as Program Assistant. She is driven by her belief in equitable access to the arts and racial, gender and spiritual justice for all.

ari first fell in love with events organizing and community building during her time at UC Berkeley. There, she spearheaded several programs for students of color at the Multicultural Community Center, and got her first taste of community building as an events coordinator for the Gender Equity Resource Center. She also dedicated her time to student organizing with the successful #FightforSpaces campaign, securing funding and physical spaces for LGBTQ and Black, Indigenous, students of color for years to come.

She loves sci-fi, forests, the ocean, daydreaming and writing/reading poetry. She is a proud daughter of Peruvian immigrants.

Bia Vieira (she/her),
Chief Strategist, Programs

Bia Vieira (she/her),
Chief Strategist, Programs

Bia Vieira brings more than 20 years of leadership experience ranging from the philanthropic to the nonprofit sectors in gender, racial, economic justice and immigrant rights issues with a variety of constituencies.  She has held leadership positions in a number of philanthropic organizations and affinity groups leading program approaches that include policy, campaigns, research, evaluation, and capacity building. Before joining the Foundation in 2018, Bia was the California Director for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, where she developed and supported coordinated responses to anti-immigrant and refugee policies. Prior to that, Bia was the Vice President of Philanthropic Services for the Philadelphia Foundation where she developed the Foundation’s equity and social justice strategy and provided leadership on growing the Foundation’s asset base through fundraising and developing initiatives for donors to invest in and support the Foundation. Through her consulting practice, Bia led numerous projects including a grantmaking impact evaluation for the Horizons Foundation; a research study for the Global Philanthropy Project on funding mechanisms for African, Latin American, and Asian, LGBTI communities in the Global South and East; and providing technical assistance for trans-Latinx led organizations for AIDS United. Originally from Brazil, Bia is a longtime activist in women’s, LGBTQI, Latino, and arts and culture issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish and Anthropology and a Masters Degree in Literature and Linguistics, both from Temple University. She completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Research as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Columbia University. In addition to English, Bias is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.